Friday, January 4, 2013

An Anxiety Attack on the Body of Christ

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Was there a lot of joy in your Christmas holidays or was it more like every day was a Black Friday for you? Were your days filled with Christmas chatter or Christmas cheer? When you went Christmas shopping did you also buy the lie that “frenzy” is the norm when we are celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ? Phrases like “Christmas Rush” were coined decades ago but it seems the worldly influences are overtaking the body of Christ in America – as a nation. It’s almost like we’re not recognizable as “light” much anymore. We are acting like the world!  Who it is who is telling you if you don’t buy the latest, greatest technology gadget, you are a bad parent? Who told you if your eight-year old doesn’t have a personal cell phone you don’t love your child? When did all this anxiety stuff become constant companions of Christian Americans? Why is it increasing?

A few years ago in a Bible study we read a chapter that discussed worldliness and a woman said, “Why do we buy things we can’t afford to impress people we don’t even like?” The biggest problem is that anxiety does not go away on its own. It feeds on itself until the Christian prayerfully turns to Christ for repentance and deliverance.

My Bible says when Jesus came into the world as a man, one of His names was “Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) As Christians, where is our peace? We gave it up. The worldly chatter around us is louder than our Lord’s voice because we won’t “be still” long enough to hear His voice “and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10).  The materialistic, pagan world is clamoring to win us over as faithful citizens of this self-centered society. Lord, have mercy on us.

Along with the worldliness comes anxiety and fear. Why? Because God is not of the world so there is no rock solid foundation for life: No security. No truth. No trust. No grace. No unconditional love. Only chaos.  “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.”(1 John 2:15-16)

This anxiety attack on the body of Christ has been exposed, praise God. It’s real! I recently viewed a very powerful series of DVDs of Passion City Pastor Louie Giglio sharing his tormenting battles with anxiety and spiritual warfare. God has given him an amazing gift as a communicator. His goal in life is to glorify God. He opened his heart to share a very painful, personal journey to thousands in Passion’s worship services. He shared the process of being set free.

When I finished viewing the three messages my jaw dropped because I have experienced things he described. His was a message filled with hope and honesty. I believe just as in Scripture when Mary broke a flask and washed the feet of Jesus, and a beautiful fragrance permeated the room, God is using Pastor Louie Giglio’s humble heart as a  broken flask and as these messages continue to be shared -- a beautiful, life-saving fragrance will permeate the body of Christ!

The Mt. Zion Baptist Church's Women’s Ministry wants to offer women in our community the blessing of hearing these three messages in a retreat at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. You can register online for the “RETREAT from Anxiety scheduled for January 19, 2013; from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cost is $15 and includes a coffee bar and lunch. For more information and to register: www.mtzionwomen.com.  Registration is online only. SEATING IS LIMITED. Hope to see you there!

This column also appears in The Cherokee Vine, January 2013  issue. Check local  shops & churches in Cherokee County for your own copy of the good news from The Cherokee Vine  or visit:
http://www.thedailyvine.com/cherokee-vine/